Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Favorite Books 5

Book Review Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist, Arnesto Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries, The Colonel on Crutch, Shahaduzzaman
Book: The Alchemist (Original in Portuguese 'O Alquimista')
Author: Paulo Coelho (Brazilian, 1947-)

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Original Language: Portuguese
Year: 1988
Category: Philosophy/Adventure/Fiction

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Summary: The story begins with an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who had a prophetic dream two times to pursue a treasure. The pursue is his destiny and he set out for it after consulting a Gypsy woman. He would have to move across the Sahara and go to the pyramids to find his treasure. He sold his sheep to have enough money for the travel. On way he met a king, he was robbed, he worked with a crystal merchant, he set out with a caravan, they reached an oasis, he met Fatima, he met an alchemist. The alchemist taught him many philosophies of life, and to talk to the 'heart' and the 'soul of the world'. He helped him to know alchemy and to be an alchemist. He had strange examinations to win over and finally reach his destiny. The end is an excellent twist - read out and find on your own. Don't read the summary (with ending) in advance, otherwise the fun will be lost!

Comment: The book was suggested by my Kenyan friend Moses. This book has been translated in 71 languages so far which is a Guinness World Record holder for most translated book by a living author (source: wikipedia). Also it is one of the best-sellers in history. The book takes you back to an ancient time and flies you through Sahara, simums, and bedouins. It teaches you some wonderful philosophies of life. Excellent reading and collection.
Book: The Motorcycle Diaries (Original Spanish Title 'Diarios de motocicleta')
Author: Ernesto Che Guevara (Argentine, 1928-1967)

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Original Language: Spanish
Year: 1952 (written in this year)
Category: Travel/Adventure

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Summary: Arensto and Granado were two friends who decided to travel across the Latin America on their bike 'La Poderosa'. Arnesto was a doctor on leprosy and Granado was a biochemist. The diary is a day-to-day travel-log written by Che. Their real-life experiences with laborious people, 'ostracized lepers', parsimonious mine workers, and downtrodden Inkan descendants were very much of the Marxist revolutionary seed that was sowed inside him during the journey.

Comment: What a journey! I find a resemblance to my Swedish friend 'Jan Braunisch' (http://r6.se/) who set out to travel Africa only with a rucksack. It is awesome when you are travelling a whole continent only on a motor bike where you need to find shelter, food, medicines on your own. There are two types of travels - one that is relaxed, and pre-planned, and the other is uncertain, and full of danger. They were on the later one, but felt the life of common people being a part of them. Che's writing is well-balanced - well, he is more a revolutionary than a writer - we all know that. But anyway, this is an excellent travel story. A masterpiece by a masterpiece Che himself! (Off topic: Che was very smart and handsome - what do you think?)

Link: English translated free online reading at: The Motorcycle Diaries

Bangla hard-bind is available at Aziz Super Market bookstores at Shahbagh, Dhaka. Price less than 200 BDT.


Book: Crutch-er Colonel (Translate as 'The Colonel on Crutch')
Author: Shahaduzzaman (Bangladeshi, 1962 -)

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Original Language: Bangla
Year: 2009 or 2010
Category: History/Revolution/Biography

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Summary: The book is mainly a biography of Martyr Colonel Abu Taher. But along with biography, it is a valuable resource of the real history of the liberation war, revolutions, and coups occurred in Bangladesh. It is a historical masterpiece for the next generation of Bangladesh. I was shocked to see how some of the national heroes suddenly became greedy on power. Looks like power is the ultimate will of a man, not peace - that's also a truth about the world powers anyway.

Comment: This book is likely to be banned by BNP once they are in power in Bangladesh as nobody likes the bitter truth about himself/herself. It directly embossed parts from Colonel Taher's testimony about Zia as a traitor. Salutes to Colonel Taher as a real patriot and hero who could not make his dreams come true because of people he saved from inevitable death.

No ebook available. But this is a masterpiece on historical books on Bangladesh. Your bookshelf won't regret purchasing this book for your lifetime.

Bangla hard-bind is available at Aziz Super Market bookstores at Shahbagh, Dhaka. Price less than 400 BDT.

Let us buy paper books. Let's enrich our mind and home library.

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